When choosing Ironworker boots, make sure you look for the Moc Toe style. Electric hazard protection is also a key feature as well as slip resistance.
Whenever I’m out and about, I always try to appreciate my surroundings.
As well as looking ahead, sometimes it’s always good to look up.
Weird and wonderful tall buildings have become the norm.
Have you ever wondered about the people who helped to put these buildings together?
That’s where Ironworker’s come in.
In this article, I‘ll go through specifically what Ironworker boots are, their characteristics and some of the brands of footwear that you might want to consider.
What are the best Ironworker boots
The Best Ironworker boots need to have a flat sole (wedge), be slip resistant and support your feet when walking on beams all day. The ideal safety footwear should also include shock absorption properties to provide comfort and resistance to electric shock.
What features should you look for when choosing quality boots for an Ironworker?
- Moc Toe – Ideally a flat sole. Avoid heeled boots or those with deep lugs.
- Slip Resistance –
- Electrical Hazard Protection –
- Shock Absorption –
As an Ironworker, one of your biggest concerns will be safety. Anything that helps reduce risks to injury, especially at such heights will be welcome.
In a study published in 2017, it was found that the slippery coatings on steel beams had an effect on the gait of the ironworker.
What this tells us is balance is incredibly important and the risk of slippery surfaces is a real one that Ironworkers deal with every day.
In addition, the Infrastructure Health and Safety Association of Canada clearly state that
Ironworker boots need to be electric shock resistant and have flat soles.
Working with steel and metal gives rise to electrical hazards so it’s important to protect yourself from this.
Ironworker boots almost remind me of boots for Asphalt workers when it comes to the wedge outsole.
However, the reasoning behind them is completely different.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Why are Ironworker Boots Flat?
Describe characteristics of ironworker boots and why they are as they are.
What Boots do Ironworkers Wear?
THis has been answered above where we talk about the best work boots for Ironworkers.
Why do Ironworkers Wear Wedge Boots?
This is one of the most popular questions when it comes to Ironworkers and their footwear.
So much so that we decided to dedicate an entire article on this topic.
I don’t want to give you any spoilers but, it comes down to the grip of the wedge sole boot to ensure the Ironworker’s safety.
I’d suggest you read the full article.
Ironworker Boot Brands
There are a ton of boot brands that provide footwear for Ironworkers. Below are just some of the more popular brands.
Disclaimer: The information provided below is for educational purposes only so you should conduct your own PPE and due diligence when purchasing a boot that’s right for you.
Thorogood Ironworker Boots
If you speak to a number of those that are in the Ironworking business, the Thorogood American Heritage style will pop up time and time again.
For Ironworkers, the most appropriate style is the moc toe boot by Thorogood.
These work boots are Made in the USA with the help of union workers.
The shock absorbing inserts that come as standard are removable which means you can customise them as you please.
For traction you have the MAXWear slip resistant outsole to protect you from those slippery surfaces. Especially those beams.
Consider the following styles from Thorogood American Heritage;
- Midnight Series
- Moc Toe
- Tobacco Safety Toe
- Trail Crazyhorse Style# 804-4478: -Be wary of the other Crazyhorse styles as the outsole is not flat.
The following models from American Heritage have a heel, lugz are not as flat as the other models above so you might want to avoid them.
- 1957 Series
- Trail Crazyhorse
Red wing ironworker boots
When you talk about work boots and safety footwear, the name Red Wing usually comes to mind.
The Red Wing Heritage Classic Moc Toe is where you should focus your efforts.
This particular style incorporates a rubber outsole for traction and Goodyear Welt Construction for long lasting durability.
Most of the boots (except 1907, 8883, 8890) are made with full grain high quality leather.
However please double check.
Style 877 is one of the most popular Red Wing boots for Ironworkers. Unlike most of the other Moc Toe shoes, this is the only one that is at 8 inches. The rest of the styles are only 6 inches high.
All the Heritage style products are made in the USA so you can be sure the quality of the product is going to be very high.
Moc Toe Styles include: 1907, 875, 8138, 877, 8849, 8883 and 8890.
In terms of sizing, it’s recommended to go down between half and a full size.
If you’re unsure how, then read our article on how your work boot should fit.
Timberland ironworker boots
I’ll put my hands up and admit that I didn’t realise that Timberland sold Moc Toe style boots.
I WAS however, pleasantly surprised with what I saw.
Whilst there was only one style called ‘Gridworks’, there were a few options.
The Gridworks style comes in 6 Inch Waterproof, Alloy toe waterproof and waterproof work boot.
There is also an 8 inch waterproof boot.
You can expect the boots to come with electric hazard protection, slip resistant TPU outsoles as well as a waterproof leather membrane to name a few.
As always, it includes Timberland’s own comfort technology which helps to reduce foot fatigue.
In terms of colors they come in black, brown and Golden brown full grain. Do check the style as not all styles come in all colors.
The ‘Gridworks’ style numbers you want to look at are;
There is also another style called the Barstow 6 Inch Alloy Toe work boot (style 88559214).
This reminds me of the Thorogood Heritage with a touch of the Red Wings.
It’s not what you normally assume when you think of Timberland Pro, for example the Pit Boss.
However, they do look nice and they are packed with features that would be ideal for ironworkers,
For example a steel shank for support, electrical hazard protection, slip resistant outsole and Goodyear welt construction to name a few.
The TImbs tend to run true to size no need to go smaller or larger.
Carolina ironworker boots
The Carolina brand is another well known business.
For Ironworkers, there are a number of Moc Toe styles which mainly include the ‘AMP’ style. Some of these styles are;
S-117 Aluminium Toe 6 Inch Moc Toe CA5575
Electric hazard protection, Slip resistance, non-steel shank, cement construction.
AMP USA Steel Toe 6 Inch Moc Toe CA7811
Electric hazard protection, steel shank, welt construction, steel toe cap and slip resistant outsole.
AMP USA 6 Inch Moc Toe CA7011
Same as version CA7811 but without a safety toe cap.
AMP USA Steel Toe 6 inch Moc Toe CA7503 (Tobacco brown)
Steel toe cap, electrical hazard protection, steel shank, welt construction, oil and slip resistant sole.
AMP USA 6 Inch Moc Toe CA7012 (Black)
As version CA7811 but without a safety toe cap.
Flatiron 6 Inch Moc Toe Wedge Work Boot CA7007 (Black)
Full grain leather, removable inserts, slip resistant sole, electrical hazard protection. Welt construction.
AMP Steel Toe 8 Inch Wedge Work Boots CA7502 (Tobacco brown)
Steel toe cap, removable inserts, electrical hazard, steel shank, oil and slip resistant outsole.
Danner ironworker boots
Another reputable brand is Danner. Now, if you’re an Iron worker and insist on buying from Danner, the Bull Run Moc Toe is the only style that you should consider.
You’ll find a selection of 6 and 8 inch boots which come in various colors such as brown tobacco and black.
Typically the Bull Run’s have a wedge sole, full grain leather upper, a steel shank as well as EH protection.
There are steel toe and plain toe versions.
I didn’t see any options for composite or alloy toe.
Just a heads up, the boots are uninsulated so do factor that in.
What I particularly like is that there is an option for women too. And they look awesome.
At the time of writing, the boots also come with a 365 day warranty but please check this before you buy.
Goodhue ironworker boots
The JB Goodhue brand was somewhat of a revelation for me.
For a company that’s been around since the late 1800’s, I feel a little embarrassed that I hadn’t heard of them until writing this article.
I’m glad I discovered them though as they have a really nice looking pair of Moc Toe’s.
I managed to find 5 boots, appropriately named the ‘Ironworker’. They are the 00800, 00801, 07780, 07865 and 07781 respectively.
What I did find really exciting were the specifications of the boot.
Between these 5 styles, they had Goodyear welt construction, thinsulate insulation, a steel toe cap, EVA wedge soles, slip and oil resistance and a steel shank which makes the boots puncture resistant.
Not only that, you know they’re CSA compliant as they have the CSA logo embedded into the full grain leather of the boot.
For the price, features and looks, this is a well established brand which provides a quality work boot for the modern day iron worker.
Irish Setter Ironworker Boots
The Irish Setter ‘Wingshooter’ was the only style we found that may be suitable for Ironworkers.
Most of them have a slight raised heel except for styles;
Style 83962 – 11 inch pull on work boot with electrical hazard, non metallic toe and waterproof .
Style 83632 – 6 Inch waterproof leather safety toe with EH protection and non metallic toe
Style 83630 – Same as the 83632 but a darker shade of brown
Style 83832 – 8 Inch waterproof leather safety toe boot.
Style 83856 – 8 inch waterproof leather, EH, non metallic toe, puncture resistant and CSA compliant.
Are Steel Toe Ironworker Boots a requirement?
In terms of toe protection, steel toe isn’t always a requirement when working as an ironworker. However, always double check with your PPE manual if you need it as part of your job to confirm this.
How about Ironworker boots with a heel?
Generally, heeled boots or those with deep lugz should be avoided. When you’re climbing beams, a heeled boot will not have the balance a wedge sole boot will give you.
Insulated ironworker boots
If you work during the colder months, there are a number of Moc Toe boots you can consider. The JB Goodhue boots encompass Thinsulate insulation but finding insulated work boots that were Moc toe was quite difficult.
CSA Approved Ironworker Boots
The CSA Group (formerly the Canadian Standards Association) develops standards in 57 areas. Safety footwear being one of them.
Although they have ‘Canada’ in the name, the organisation’s standards are adhered to in many areas such as Canada, USA, Europe and even in some parts of ASia.
Think of them as a rival to the ASTM organization
To purchase a CSA work boot, simply look out for the logo or read it in the footwear specification.
I really hope that this article has given you an insight into what boots are available for Ironworkers.
Remember to look for the Moc Toe style with flat wedge soles with electrical hazard protection.
Some Moc Toe styles have a slight heel which is something you want to avoid.
Thanks for reading to the end and I hope you really gain some value from it.